Being Modern: Internet dating

So, you're at a party. It's a bit different, as everyone's flirting. A disproportionate number of men are detailing their extreme outdoor-leisure activities or sharing snaps of themselves with small children. They are not commitment-phobes. Meanwhile, the women – the most popular of whom may casually mention their yogic talent/Swedish descent/independence (but not their broodiness) – are wondering whether the chaps in hats are hiding bald patches.

If you live, perhaps, in Croydon, or aren't amusing or endearing seconds into any exchange, you're ignored.

OK, "party" is stretching it: you are, in fact, on a dating website. (Heterosexual or gay; the specifics may differ but the snap judgements/fact-fudging remain.) This is what single people do these days: more than two-thirds of unattached Brits are likely to date online this year, claim digital matchmakers Parship. Whatever happened to the shame we once felt at advertising for love, or the terrifying term "lonely heart"?

In a word: photos. Coy or not, profile pictures are just what you do online. Plus, there are around three times more single Brits than 40 years ago, so being unattached has lost some stigma. The Americans were early adopters (Rachel was at it on Friends) but, then, Yanks are good at unselfconsciousness. Enter Sarah Beeny. In 2004, not content with criticising people's DIY on TV, she launched mysinglefriend.com, where daters get nominated by a pal – cunningly stripping the activity of its erstwhile furtiveness. Now you can't get through an ad break without young hipsters singing about it, dedicated iPhone apps, and couples sharing the moment their eyes met across a crowded page of profiles.

But what of stumbling into your love-to-be in a bar? Stories for the children, about daddy wooing his pretty neighbour for months? Or getting to know someone – then finding them devastatingly sexy? It still happens. But if singledom beckons, best get a flattering photo done and invent some sexy hobbies. That special someone might just be having a night in with the laptop.

Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

News
A Brazilian wandering spider
news

World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas

Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

News
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
tech

Company decides to go for simply scary after criticising other sites for 'creepy and targeted' advertising

Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in the win over QPR
footballInternet reacts to miss shocker for Liverpool striker
News
news

Footage shot by a passerby shows moment an ill man was carried out of his burning home

Voices
Sol Campbell near his home in Chelsea
voices
News
i100
News
Kimi the fox cub
newsBurberry under fire from animal rights group - and their star, Kimi
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    ***Sports Graduate***

    £50 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Preston: This role has arisen due to inc...

    Business StudiesTeacher

    £110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Bu...

    ***Are you a Support Worker? or a Youth Worker? ***

    £50 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Preston: The RoleDue to demand we are cu...

    **SEN Primary Teacher Serf Unit **

    £110 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Preston: We are looking for an experie...

    Day In a Page

    Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

    'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

    If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
    James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
    Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

    Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

    Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
    Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

    Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

    Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
    How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

    How to dress with authority

    Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
    New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

    New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

    'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
    Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

    Tim Minchin interview

    For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
    Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
    Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

    Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

    Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
    Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

    How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

    'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

    Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

    Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
    Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

    Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

    After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
    Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

    Terry Venables column

    Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
    The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

    Michael Calvin's Inside Word

    Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past